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Reference Name Covering Dates Description Size File
WO71 349Plunkett, Joseph (prisoner 33)2 May 1916 - 3 May 1916

File relates to the field general courtmartial of Joseph Plunkett [Commandant, Irish Republican Brotherhood; Irish Volunteers], held on the 3rd of May 1916 at [Richmond Barracks, Dublin]. The courtmartial was presided over by Colonel E. W. S. K. Maconchy (president), Lieutenant Colonel A. M. Bent and Major F. W. Woodward. Charge against Plunkett was that 'he did an act to wit did take part in an armed rebellion and in the waging of war against His majesty the King such act being of such a nature as to be calculated to be prejudicial to the Defence of the Realm and being done with the intention and for the purpose of assisting the enemy'. Plunkett pleaded not guilty to the said charge, but was found guilty and sentenced to 'Death'. Charge Sheet and confirmation of sentence included signed by General J. G. Maxwell. No specific details of Plunkett's execution [4th May 1916] included in the file.

Three witnesses were called for the prosecution: Major Philip Holmes, 5 Battalion, Royal Irish Regiment stated '...The Sin Feiners in the Post Office had been firing on the troops for several days and had killed and wounded a number of soldiers. He was dressed in the green uniform he is now wearing with a Captains badge of rank on his sleeves when he surrendered.' Sargent John Bruto, Metropolitan Police stated 'His name appears on the proclamation issued by the Irish Volunteers and I believe him to be a member of the Executive Council of that body.' Lieutenant Colonel H. S. Hodgkins, 6 Battalion, Sherwood Foresters stated 'I saw the prisoner when he surrendered on the 29th April. He was wearing a sword and pistol.'

Plunkett's defence statement was as follows: 'I have nothing to say in my defence but desire to state that the proclamation referred to in Sergt. Bruton's evidence is signed by persons who are not connected with the Irish Volunteers and the Proclamation was not issued by the Irish Volunteers.'

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